The Tshilqot’in National Government announced Friday a suspension of all retention of salmon following the Big Bar rock slide.
This temporary ban on fishing comes into effect immediately and will be upheld until further notice, according to a news release issued by the TNG. Retention of sockeye salmon (Ts’eman), chinook salmon (Kas) and coho salmon (dandzex) are prohibited across the Chilcotin River, Chilko River, Taseko River and all related tributaries. The TNG has said that these measures are what are needed to conserve the stocks of all these species of salmon.
Since its discovery earlier this summer on the Fraser River, the Big Bar slide has quickly been recognized as a crisis for the salmon returning this fall to spawn.
The slide has turned a usually peaceful stretch of river to rapids making crossing difficult if not impossible. To date, the TNG said that less than one per cent of the salmon has been able to make it past the rockslide.
This one per cent translates into only 26 chinook salmon and 26 sockeye salmon seen near their spawning grounds near the Chilko River.
Efforts to find solutions and workarounds to this environmental crisis are ongoing, however, time is running out as the peak spawning time for most species of salmon is fast approaching.
For more information on this ban, the TNG asks residents to contact Randy Billy Boy at the TNG via 250-392-3918, extension 113.
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